We’ve added some more comments from delegates to the page.
“Excellent over-view and will be useful for practical application. Much food for thought – useful for starting ideas on improving (the) existing approach to Help files.”
“Very thought provoking.”
“I just wanted to say ‘thank you!’ for the excellent training session yesterday. I’m putting those principles to work today as I review the UA for one of our websites. The way I write has changed dramatically.” Continue reading →
Danielle M. Villegas has just pointed us towards a five minute lightning talk by Rick Lippencott on the future of technical communication, and its value. Rick covers in five minutes a great deal of the content I covered in my 45 minute presentation at the same conference – it’s worth watching.
He summarises the value of Technical Authors in three simple words :”We explain things”.
Rick added some notes to the description on YouTube:
The clay tablet “first example of tech documentation” is about ten thousand years old, not two thousand.
The odd photo at about the 4:50 mark (where I say any of us could have explained it better) was a hotel room layout map posted at the elevators. It gave room locations based on compass points, but there was no way for the reader to know which way was actually north. It was completely useless.
“All of this has happened before, and it will happen again” was originally from Peter Pan.
A lightning talk is a presentation format in which 20 slides are shown for 15 seconds each (giving each presenter five minutes in total). The format is used to keep presentations concise and fast-paced, and to allow the time for lots of speakers to participate in the event.
It’s very similar to “Pecha Kucha nights”, however those give speakers the luxury of an extra five seconds per slide.
Agile programming has grown in popularity and it has led to new challenges for those involved in providing user assistance for those applications. So is it time for technical authors to develop an equivalent method for developing content for these projects? Is it time to develop an “Agile authoring” methodology? Also, if we want to move away from a hand-crafted approach to developing content and towards a more engineering-like approach, what can we learn from the latest techniques being applied in manufacturing?
Such a method needs to complement Agile programming, but it may be a mistake to take Agile programming as the starting point for developing it. The developers of Agile drew upon the principles of Lean manufacturing, and perhaps technical authors should do the same.
In this webinar, we will explain how the principles of Lean manufacturing can be applied to developing and managing content. It’s a way of writing that focuses on maximizing the value to the user and minimizing waste. It involves measuring the processes and value of what has been delivered so that iterative improvements can be made over time.
This webinar will be hosted by the Society for Technical Communication.
In this presentation, we’ll look at how to plan a user documentation project when you’re working for a startup technology company. Working in this environment gives you the opportunity to work “from a clean sheet,” but it also has its own challenges of working in a dynamic and rapidly changing environment. Continue reading →
The Society for Technical Communication, the professional body for technical communicators in the USA, is introducing a number of specially selected guest bloggers to its official blog. The first guest blogger is, we’re pleased to say, Cherryleaf’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Ellis Pratt.
These posts, called “Letter from the UK”, will explore what’s happening for technical communicators in the UK and mainland Europe. You’ll find the first post on the “STC Notebook blog” today:
STC’s Notebook has long been a great source for STC-related news, information and conversation. Now it hopes to become the same for topics relating to technical communications. We’re delighted to be involved and participating in this initiative, and we hope you’ll find these posts of interest.